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Grateful Dead Live at Shea's Buffalo Theater on 1979-01-20

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Grateful Dead Live at Shea's Buffalo Theater on 1979-01-20

Topics Live concert

1: Promised Land, Sugaree, El Paso, Peggy-O, It's All Over Now, Jack A Roe, Minglewood Blues, Stagger Lee, Jack Straw; 2: I Need A Miracle-> Bertha, Good Lovin', Loser, Estimated Prophet-> The Other One-> Drums-> The Other One-> Dark Star-> Not Fade Away-> Sugar Magnolia, E: One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Shea's Buffalo Theater
Location Buffalo, NY

Source Audience Recording: NAK 700's
Lineage AUD > MC > DAT > CD NAK 700's > Sony TC-D5M from the 6th row center, mics very high up on pole
Taped by Jerry Moore
Transferred by Mark Cohen, Noah Weiner


A previous digitization of this show was found to have digital errors (clicks and ticks), thus the redo.


Reviewer: RIT Deadhead79 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 29, 2015
Subject: Freshman year (78-79)@ RIT
THIS was my first Deadheads' concert and the Grateful Dead were at their finest/RIP Mr. Garcia. Shea's Theater is an awesome venue with inclined seating while the band plays in the pit below the audience. The music was great, but what really makes a GD concert unlike any other,is all the deadheads dancing in the aisles through out the entire show and of course the hit of acid didn't hurt ! .........IF you haven't experienced a GD concert,try to see them at one of these shows. I put it on my bucket list and made sure to cross it off !
Reviewer: raindep - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2014
Subject: should been there...
so my brother in law got 3 tickets...and I was a freshman at cornell, and totally assumed it was me, my sister and bro...but NOOOOOOO....they invited Wayne...granted, he was a full on dead head...but cmon man...bring your lil bro to this theater...I agree with most accounts that the show lacks any really great stuff, but the estimated is very strong, the other short and weak...d.s. nothing to write home about, but the sound of the venue is unbeatable, and Mr. Moore did us proudly here...
Reviewer: jsunsh - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 23, 2013
Subject: A strange trip
sorry for the cliche title - but such an odd night in the pantheon of GD shows - I was there and the vibe was strange - an hour late in starting - no Donna - and no idea of the tension in the band but upon (yet another) listening - the "boys" showed such beautiful musicianship w/ intricate and real jamming - crazy post estimated> OTher one > and then that compact but still deep Dark Star into NFA w/ that infectious riff that they played off on...maybe it was the gorgeous theater that brought the "jazziness" out of the band - but I find much of the music simply sublime and beautiful. Thanks to all posters on for the memories!
Reviewer: Brownie1960 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 16, 2012
Subject: First Show Dosed to the Gills!
Hey, I am on this recording. I was the one screaming before Estimated Prophet. Let me add some context. I didn't know a lot about the GD at the time, and the first set had already been a life changing experience for me. I was three or four rows back from the column of speakers on the right hand side of the stage. I was hanging on to the seat in front of me for dear life during Sugaree. It felt as if all the water from all the rivers on earth were washing through me all at once. If I would have let go, I don't know where I would have ended up. I guess it's good that it was a comparatively mellow Sugaree. Peggy O and Jack a Roe seemed to come from deep in the archetypal collective unconscience. They were ok and I could cope during them. I remember nothing about intermission or Miracle Bertha Good Lovin'. Loser started all the water from all the rivers of the earth running through me again. During the interval between that and Estimated Prophet, I had a pretty lucid moment. I kept hearing all of these people calling out song names in a rather droning Long Island accent. I thought to myself, OMG, I'm having an experience of greater than biblical proportions and here are these people calling out the names of songs that their hopeless little egos are trying to hear, and just being relentless about it as folks from the NYC suburban areas can often be! So after I heard a person call out a song title, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "ANYTHING BUT THAT" Like it would somehow harm me if the band actually played that song. It was an attempt at humor, feeble as it was. I don't know if anyone got the joke. After that I shouted to the band, "GIVE US A BREAK" I kind of wanted them to take another break so I could try to relax. I also remember screaming for them to "PLAY SOMETHING WEIRD" but I don't think it made any of the tapes. It's so strange to hear myself in this tape after over 30 years. The rest of the show went splendidly, I think I was peaking during Sugaree since the show was so late. I do remember it was kind of like white light from the sun when Dark Star started. I was sure there were streamers released from the ceiling during this, but nobody else saw them. I sort of went back to my normal life after this, although it never was the same again. Kind of like Brown Eyed Women... tumble down shack in Bigfoot County (metaphor for my life up until then) snowed so hard that the roof caved in (my experience at this concert), Delilah Jones (perhaps my delicate baby ego before this event) went to meet her God, and the old man (me now) never was the same again. They didn't play that song that night, but the song kind of played out in my life. Anyhow, thanks to you wonderful tapers of the era. What gorgeous tapes you made of this event! Thanks also, to all of you poor souls who relentlessly called out the names of these songs back then for whatever reason. The lesson has always been, it really isn't the song list, but it's how wide open they crank the tap of all of the water in the rivers of the world rushing through your elemental being while you're holding on to the back of the seat in front of you for dear life.
Reviewer: spak - - April 29, 2010
Subject: Moore's Mics (this night at least)
Haven't listened to this show yet, so I won't provide a rating at all. But, in response to the first reviewer's question, I think Moore did borrow mics for this show, and had a funny story about taping it in general.

Check out Gans' interviews with Moore (and Bertrando and Glassberg) at the link below, which I stumbled upon last year after reading about Jerry Moore's passing (RIP, thanks for recording and sharing all that you did...).


On another note, Shea's is still a gorgeous venue. I saw a sweet Phil Lesh and Friends show there in Nov 2002. Furthur played there in Feb 2010 as well...
Reviewer: Sedula - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 15, 2009
Subject: Twin D
Twin D is an idiot. I had the second set of this show since 1980 and it was always one of my favorites. It certainly isn't 1970-1973 but it is very good for the period. Some of three transitions are great (Dark Star -->Not Fade). To say this is just a one star is ridiculous. Why don't you go get laid, or fuck your boyfriend Twin D.
Reviewer: johnmm1959 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 7, 2008
Subject: A Night to Remember
This was quite a show in quite a place. Uncharacteristically, they started about an hour late. I was getting concerned because I was really taking flight when the thought occured to me that there might be a problem, like in New Haven the previous November. I found out later through a reliable source that Jerry had the job of telling Donna and Keith that they were done. (Contrary to what was written in 'Long Strange Trip') Donna headed home and Keith hung on for the remaining shows. Jerry was found meandering the hotel lobby minutes before the show was to begin. (A combination of being upset and under the infulence of his choice at the time) It took the band a few songs to find their stride and the show provided enough 'moments' to be considered a keeper. I have never heard a recording of this show that captures the energy of how I remember it, but this one here is in the neighborhood.
Reviewer: jjjbaggins - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2007
Subject: A+ sound and no Donna!
Don't get me wrong, I love plenty of Donna-era shows, but when the boys had an opportunity to play without her (ala December '73) it was special. Combine that with amazingly clear sound (although the vocals are quiet at times) and a late second set Dark Star and this show becomes an important artifact. Only two Dark Stars all year (1-10 is with Donna) and this one, while short, is thoughtful and deep. It comes out of a beautiful post-drums noodle>Other One and climbs into a rockin' NFA (although it seems Jerry wanted to explore it further).
Reviewer: kldiakos - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2006
Subject: My 1st Show
An experience I'll never forget. Phil was drinking Heinekens the whole show, and at one point I swear Jerry had to take a whiz and left the stage laughing. We heard that Donna was sick, but Keith was on fire. Phenomenal Sugaree and Darkstar. UB students were ushers; I knew where I wanted to go to college.
Reviewer: Liamfinnegan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2006
Subject: Sweetest Peggy-O solo I have ever heard
1/20/79- just came across this gem and every hair stood on end on my body- the first long solo break is simply outstanding- so beautiful it could bring tears (yep this happens to me from time to time when I hear some good stuff and it hits me again that he is dead and gone)

Add this solo to best jerry moments thread I started a few months ago
Reviewer: TwinD - favorite - May 14, 2006
Subject: Horribly over-rated show
This show must be one of the all-time most over-rated Dead performances. Perhaps it's that quite a few tapers walked out on this chilly night with stellar auds, of which this is one of the best. Or perhaps because they played Dark Star, never mind it's arguably the lousiest version performed until, oh about 1992.

So here's what you've got:
1.) A *magnificent* aud recording
2.) A crap Dark Star
3.) An otherwise totally lackluster performance, that if it wasn't for the two previous conditions, would have drifted into well-deserved obscurity 27 years ago a la 1/21, 1/14, etc.
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 15, 2006
Subject: The Forever beautiful Shea's
If you never seen what this theater looks like, try to find a picture on the internet. Its the Mack Daddy , one of those few remaining very orninate/opulant rich old theaters they no longer build do to cost vs. seating capacity. Its Like a kings palace absolutely stunning-eclectic if you will. It reminds me of a church in Rome. The Fox theater and a few others survived the depression and beyond with investers smart enough to keep a few of these landmark venues around for the arts etc.
Imagine getting totally psychedelic in the Shea's during Dar Star (lucky fools). The show isn't on par with venue, just looking at set list and venue I thought Jerry was going to pull out the sweetest Peggy-O- and a smokin over the top Jack-a-Roe in this intimate gorgeous venue but not the case. There are some brillant moments like All Over Now and Other One has some nice guitar work. No secret but, Fall is where its at for 1979. If this show was near end of Oct. it probably would have been one of those out of this world interstellar cosmic nights. Although some of there best shows seem to be in venues not so assuming like old hockey areans, Unv. gym's and War Mem. type places.
The Winterland was an old ice skating areana collectivley some of the best shows ever played.
If you not familiar and want a good example of this check out Spring 1983 4-12, 13th and 15th.

As far as this show
3 for show
5 for venue
~Round up for Dark Star in a mind blowing setting its a 4.
Reviewer: jboyaquar - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2005
Subject: Saved from Complete Obscurity by 30 minutes of Bliss
Forgive me, I had to listen to 1/19 on a much less impressive AUD than one typically available at etree; tho, I'm not sure if it affected my thoughts on that unremarkable show.

No Donna tonight.

1st Set: Well, why not repeat "Promised?" Jerry's work here is fragilly pleasing tho this is Not the roaring version I wanted to write about. "Sugaree" is a snoozer unless you're a fan of Garcia's quiet Verrry mellow solos. Thankfully, the final chorus gets a head of steam. "El Paso" is a nice call. "Peggy" is stabdard. Jerry's having fun outshining his band mebers on "All Over Now." Wow, the lack of variance in Billy & Mickey's work is frustrating. Saliva is probably dribbling from Keith right about now because there's not a peep to be heard from his piano. "Jack" & "NMB" pass without remark. Boy, how I long to hear the new arrangement versus this earthbound version. "Stagger" continues the blandness tho Weir meekly tries to add life with his slide. It's akin to the highest pitched canary. "Jack" is decent to end this subpar set.

2nd Set: Yep, eh, another "Miracle" to start us out. Into a weak clap-along "Bertha." "Good Lovin", good riddens. "Loser" in this meek capacity actually rings true. "Estimated," seriously, it's like a two-man band. No offense to Lesh, but he's pretty low in the mix and my current set-up is not overemphasizing bass. Finally, a moment of interest...There's some nice ethereal Jerry noodling which eases its way into "OO." "Drums" This twenty minute period of music drifts delicately downstream; it's all very poetically pastoral. Typical Bobby, rudely ruining this euphoria by bringing us back down for a mellow tho pleasing "NFA." Well, that is til the nail hits the blackboard aka bobby attempting a slide solo. Mercifully, it ends soon enough and we're comforted by the familiar opening licks of 'Magnolia.' A cheery, easy-going version that appropriately closes this baby out. Well, that is Not until we appreciate the day. Thankfully, "Saturday" is the encore because Bobby succeeds at destroying his voice for the evening, a stupid move considering the chilled-out vibe of the whole night.
Reviewer: Don Texist - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 20, 2005
Subject: Another great show from bygone days
The Sheas Dead show is one that is indelibly etched into my brain. This was my best show. Freezing cold saturday night in Buffalo. What a venue. Sheas is an amazing theater, like going back in time a hundred years. Sitting in the balcony, as if right on top of the band. High energy night. Certain songs stuck out in my mind after all these years. It's all over now. Not Fade Away. Saturday Night encore.

Being able to listen three decades later I only wish that when I was there I was paying better attention. Thanks Archive org, for letting me hear what I must have missed for whatever unnamed reasons.
Reviewer: Shiva Ho - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 10, 2005
Subject: Sugaree
I am listening to the stream of this show & instead of the bertha listed as the 2nd song there is a Sugaree which is what Deadbase says it should be. Also Bertha is in the second set. So why is Bertha listed here in the first set instead of Sugaree? The sound quality is excellent an audience recording & no Donna....
Reviewer: chenner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2004
Subject: A Perennial favorite
This show has long been a favorite since I had the tape back then (did'nt see it though). Granted the first set is just ok, with a good Jack Straw. The Second set is some of my favorite GD, Mainly for the Estimated jam through Dark Star, including a seamless transition to a telepathic "Other One". There is a certain otherness to this sequence, maybe it was the phases of the moon, maybe it was no Donna, or the beautiful Sheas theater...but this is some prime Grateful Dead. Here the band plays as one, There is an ebb and flow and dynamic contrast which seems to cause the music to contract and expand. The recording quality is excellent, you can hear each member distinctly, this is one of the best aud recordings I've heard, and the crowd noise is minimal. My copy from a Dat tape is definitely from the same source but sounds a little better than this. Nagara Reel to Reel and Nak mics were listed as the recording equipment for my copy, so maybe that would clear up some of the confusion regarding the Sony D5 given here. Would get five stars if the rest was as good as the estimated- other one- dark star....check this one out.
Reviewer: stealthhippy - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 15, 2004
Subject: a cold night in buffalo...........
another night of following the Dead on their east coast tours from school..and when we found out Donna was no more..Hallelulah...rough at times as they adjust to no backing vocals,but Jerry wakes up with a blazin Jack Straw and and comes back after break with more energy(wink..wink)..worth the download as the new era is ushered in..........
Reviewer: J. Jonah Jameson - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2004
Subject: Nice recording, uneven show
A nice artifact of a unique show. I'd call this an above average-to-excellent AUD recording. Some funny crowd comments. What's really a bummer is the fact that Jerry sounds tired, Donna's missing, and the band generally wastes a chance to open the show with Truckin', or maybe even encore it, which the audience is clearly shouting for. Jerry sounds half asleep for most of this show, but he wakes up for a brilliant Dark Star. Bobby does his best to keep things lively. Too bad they didn't play Shea's in say, '73.
Reviewer: Jay Gerland - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2004
Subject: In response to previous comment
I think the presence of the NAKs and Sony TC-D5M in the source was during converion from the DATs - not that they were there in the (beautiful) Shea's Theatre back in 1979. The mic positioning statement is misleading being placed at the end of the conversion string.

As a side note, this is regarded as one of the better shows on this winter tour. I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: norma023 - favorite - March 30, 2004
Subject: source rig info ?
I didn't think the Sony D5M was out yet in '79. Didn't that come out in the early 80's?

Also, was Jerry M borrowing some Nak700's for this show? I didn't think he had those mics.

Anyone know for certain?
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 3/26/2004
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